Iveco says, hey big tip­per

Ital­ian make shows off the Pow­er­star 6400, a cus­tom job with pay­load-plus

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Classifieds -

WHEN you think of tip­per trucks, the brands most likely to pop into your head are Ken­worth, Mack and maybe West­ern Star.

Ital­ian brand Iveco wants to be con­sid­ered too and is putting ex­tra fo­cus on its abil­ity to build cus­tom tip­per trucks at its fac­tory in Dan­de­nong, Vic­to­ria.

Work­ing Wheels climbed aboard a spe­cial Pow­er­star 6400 with a gross weight rat­ing of 50 tonnes to see how it works as a tip­per.

This 6x4 truck usu­ally runs a tip­per trailer but that wasn’t avail­able so we drove it as a rigid truck with a tip­per body.

Iveco’s sell­ing point is based on both the abil­ity to come up with a spe­cial one-off truck for a cus­tomer but also its light­weight na­ture.

The com­pany says the Pow­er­star is 400kg-500kg lighter than ri­vals, which means more pay­load for the tip­per.

Iveco de­scribes the Pow­er­star as a Mec­cano setup that can be cus­tomised. For ex­am­ple, our truck has a 5m wheel­base but the di­men­sion can be from 6.2m down to 4.5m.

Ours has a bot­tom-mounted ex­haust so the tip­per body can be moved closer to the back of the cab where the regular ex­haust stack would nor­mally sit, for bet­ter weight dis­tri­bu­tion.

The truck is fit­ted with a lot of light­weight gear in­clud­ing op­tional Al­coa al­loy wheels, light al­loy hubs and lighter brake drums.

If a cus­tomer wants a heav­ier-rated truck there are op­tions to in­crease the stur­di­ness of the frame.

An­other rel­a­tively light fea­ture is the 13-litre Cur­sor en­gine un­der the bon­net. It looks tiny in the en­gine bay, which is de­signed to fit a 15-litre Cum­mins (for the higher-rated high­way haul­ing Pow­er­stars).

The Cur­sor ef­fec­tively matches the per­for­mance of the larger and heav­ier Cum­mins and pumps out a healthy 418kW/2494Nm.

It cer­tainly gets up and goes when you plant the foot and if the guys at Iveco didn’t tell me we were loaded up close to our max­i­mum weight I would have guessed it was half empty.

This tip­per is de­signed for ur­ban work, which means it runs rel­a­tively small fuel tanks (360L) to keep weight down and gear ra­tios are op­ti­mised for lower-speed work. It does about 1500rpm at high­way speeds but is still pretty quiet.

With the op­tional ZF 16- speed au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion, there’s no clutch pedal and I sim­ply se­lect drive and pull away.

It is a qual­ity trans­mis­sion and the shifts are faster than I could man­age with a man­ual. The other ad­van­tage is that it doesn’t crunch, ei­ther.

Low-speed crawl­ing in load bays and tight spa­ces can be a prob­lem in au­to­mated trucks but this one has a crawler func­tion. I hold down the Drive but­ton on the dash for a cou­ple of sec­onds to go for­ward or the Re­verse but­ton to go back — the truck pro­ceeds very slowly, re­gard­less of how far the ac­cel­er­a­tor is de­pressed.

The 6400’s cabin is ab­so­lutely huge, es­pe­cially with no cen­tre con­sole. Iveco has in­stalled the new Stralis cab in­te­rior and it is mod­ern and, for a truck, stylish. It is also prac­ti­cal and ev­ery­thing is within reach and the steer­ing wheel has au­dio con­trols.

The only thing miss­ing is a hill-holder (in some ri­vals, this func­tion is in­cluded in the elec­tronic brak­ing setup).

As it stands, the au­to­mated man­ual lets the truck roll back when I take my foot off the brake but I soon get used to us­ing the park brake un­til the power builds up. The truck is oth­er­wise very easy to drive.

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